The Reading Brain

The Reading Brain

Around 6 million years ago, the first humans appeared.

Around 2 million years ago, humans started to use oral language.

And only around 5,000 years ago, did humans start to use writing systems.

Writing is a social construct and so reading must be explicitly taught to all kids but especially our Dyslexic kids as this is the only way they can learn to read.

Reading and writing is not an evolved skill like oral language.

Children cannot be immersed in the printed word and be expected to read. They must be taught from the bottom up.

We start with Oral Language, move on to Phonological Awareness, then to the Alphabetic Principle, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension.

  • Writing was invented by humans as their brain capacity expanded
  • To be able to read, the human brain has to recycle existing neuronal pathways.
  • This recycling occurs every time a child starts to learn to read.
  • The recycled pathways are used to attach speech sounds to written text.
  • The direct route is via the left hemisphere and the slower, indirect route is via the right hemisphere.
  • Children with Phonological Dyslexia use the indirect route.
  • Whether the direct or indirect route is being used, children must be taught “The Alphabetic Principle” to access and use the recycled pathways for reading and writing.
  • The Alphabetic Principle is the knowledge that letters (graphemes) represent the sounds (phonemes) in spoken language.

Children master the Alphabetic Principle when they can recognise and manipulate the individual sounds in written words.

We call this Phonemic Awareness.

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